Why won't my dog ​​eat or drink water?

Dogs that don't eat or drink have problems

Although we have had dogs for a long time, there are times when we cannot know the causes of why our pets stop eating and drinking.

There are many reasons why this can happen in a dog. At all times it is important to know the reason why our dog has a loss of appetite and does not drink water, in order to carry out the appropriate treatment for these kinds of problems.

Reasons why a dog does not want to eat

If your dog doesn't want to eat, give him something he likes

In the same way that it happens with people, there are many reasons why dogs sometimes refuse to eat. Some of them may be the following:

He is sick

When the appetite decreases, it is usually an unequivocal sign that there is the presence of some disease, especially if our dog shows another series of symptoms that accompany it.

Despite the lack of appetite, this does not always mean that it is a serious disease, that is why it is necessary to visit the vet, since otherwise, our dog has a greater risk of suffering from diseases as serious as cancer .

For being recently vaccinated

Despite the fact that these vaccines have been responsible for saving the lives of many pets, on many occasions they can cause certain side effects. Many of these can be very mild as well as brief, and among them we can find loss of appetite temporarily.

Unknown environment and travel

If we observe that our dog's appetite was normal, but it decreases when we go on a trip with him or if it happens when we have moved to another house, most likely, our dog does not want to eat because he does not know the environment, generating this anxiety.


There are dogs that can become quite demanding, and certain circumstances in which they do not feel comfortable, either due to the nearby presence of an aggressive dog, or because the feeder is in a place that is not to their liking, leave to eat and drink.

Reasons why my dog ​​does not drink water

There are many reasons why a dog can reject water. Here are some of them:


This is one of the main enemies of the dog, since because of this, you can have health problems, which if not treated, can simply turn into a serious disease.


There are diseases that are caused by viruses. Some of these diseases they can be rabies, letopspirosis or distemper. We must go immediately to the vet, as soon as we have any slightest suspicion.

Tooth problems

This is one of the problems that usually causes lack of thirst and loss of appetite. The pain and how uncomfortable it can be to perform any action that requires the use of the teeth or move the mouth, can be enough for our dog to stop eating and drinking.

How to hydrate a dog that does not want to drink water?

When a dog refuses to drink water and needs to be hydrated, a great option may be to offer you a meat or chicken broth, since the taste and smell of this food will not only open your appetite and encourage you to eat, but at the same time it will make you more thirsty than when consuming your usual food and at the same time, it will allow you to ingest a certain amount of water.

In this case, you need to avoid adding salt and any kind of seasonings. In the same way, it is possible to provide some ice cubes, since dogs usually like to consume ice cubes a lot and in those cases where they have been sick and / or have problems consuming water, this option can be quite appropriate to achieve that hydrate.

My dog ​​does not eat or drink

The reasons why our dog does not want to drink or eat are very diverse. The main one of all and that we have discussed previously, is stress, although a change in the routine of our home can also be a reason for lack of appetite. Likewise, sadness, like nervousness, makes it possible for a dog to go through so much apathy that it feels little interest in food.

At the same time, it is likely that if we feed the same thing every day, our dog will feel bored with it. Likewise, another great danger, but this time due to lack of thirst, is dehydration, since a dog's body can decompensate in a short time when the amount of water required is not enough.

My dog ​​does not eat and sleeps a lot

Give your dog something to eat

Although it is most common that it is said that cats sleep for almost 50% of their lives, the truth is that it would also be possible to say the same about dogs. During their puppyhood, dogs can spend around 17 hours a day sleeping, while as adults they can sleep for about 14 hours a day.

However, the real problem is not that the dog usually sleeps a lot, but in the fact that when he is awake he is not active, appears downcast, sad and seems to have no desire to do anything, or drink water or eat.

In those cases where the dog wakes up and soon falls asleep again, and usually sleeps more hours than previously indicated, it is possible that he suffers from hyperthyroidism.

In the same way, when the dog does not want to eat, even by providing it with a richer food than usual, and it appears quite sad, although it has no reason to be, It is possible that you have some pathology associated with the digestive system, to the kidneys or even something more serious.

In these cases, It is necessary to check if the animal has a fever and / or if its weight has decreased considerably. However, it must also be said that these symptoms are not always an indication of a severe disease, so there is no reason to start worrying before time, although it will always be better to be safe than sorry.

Likewise, it should be noted that in any case, it will always be advisable to go to a trusted veterinarian who will be in charge of carrying out the appropriate tests to obtain a correct diagnosis and to determine the most appropriate treatment.

My dog ​​does not eat or drink and is sad

Among the most common reasons why a dog does not want to eat or drink, stands out the fact that it may be sad. The reasons behind this sadness can be very diverse, however, the most common is that the dog feels that he no longer receives the same attention as before.

When we experience changes in our lives that may in any way alter the way and how often we play with our pet, when we ourselves feel sad or if we no longer usually spend so much time with him, it is possible that the dog's mood decreases and he decides not to eat or drink water.

A solution to get the dog to eat and drink water is usually to stay by his side when serving the food, provide him with a premium quality wet feed and be with the dog while he chews.

Offering him a higher quality diet that has good nutrients will help him regain his appetite., especially when served warm, since its smell will encourage you to try it. In the case of water, we can put a little water in the trough and thus also provide extra hydration.

My dog ​​has not been eating or drinking for two days, what do I do?

In extremely extreme cases, dogs are able to survive for up to several weeks without consuming food, although they cannot do so without water; in fact, if they don't consume water, they could only last a few days. However, there are situations that are not extreme where our dog could go days without eating due to various reasons.

Inside the house, when perceiving that our dog is not consuming his food, it is necessary to visit a veterinarianIf it is a puppy or if it consists of a very old, sick dog or if it presents symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea or fever, it will be essential to go to the vet immediately.

In the case of a healthy dog, it is possible to wait a day, to see if it consists of any temporary discomfort. In any case, it is always necessary to consult your trusted veterinarian in order to rule out any problems and prevent more serious situations.

My dog ​​does not want to eat, he only drinks water

When our dog does not want to eat, it may be a sign that you have some pathology. The list of diseases that could cause a total loss of appetite in dogs is quite extensive, and within it we can find mild problems (digestive disorders) and also more serious pathologies (for example, canine parvovirus).

When a dog refuses to eat, situations could arise such as that the dog does not eat food but is animated or does not eat and only consumes water, although there are also situations where it could reject both food and water.

Normally, these situations tend to appear as a consequence of specific discomforts which, in general, tend to subside after several hours without the need to do anything.

What can happen to a dog if it does not want to eat or drink water?

If it is alarming that our dog refuses to eat, the problem could be greater when it also does not want to consume water and the situation seems to be prolonged.

If, apart from this, the dog has a considerable loss of fluids due to diarrhea and vomiting, you may become dehydrated; something that is very worrying in those dogs with greater vulnerability, for example puppies, geriatric or sick dogs.

This type of situation could be a sign that our dog suffers from some pathology that affects its digestive system, although it could also be an indication of diseases that affect its kidneys and / or heart, and consequently, cause a considerable or total decrease in the dog's appetite, also causing vomiting and decay.

It should be borne in mind at all times that a dehydrated dog generally shows a decreased appetite, so it is essential to ensure that fluids are replenished not only subcutaneously, but also intravenously; for which it will be essential to get our dog to a veterinary center.

My dog ​​does not know how to drink water

When our dog is usually among those who usually leave the ground completely full of drops when drinking water, even throwing away more water than it consumes.

It is common for us to be surprised to discover that not all dogs tend to do this. But contrary to what many of us may think, this is not because he does not know how to drink water, but to another factor.

Generally, it is usually the larger dogs that are more likely to leave everything wet when they drink water, while medium and small breed dogs tend to be characterized by being a little more curious and almost not making a mess. In any case, you have to know that this is caused solely by a fairly simple factor: the size of the dog's mouth.

Likewise, there are numerous dogs that tend to get very dirty because they do not learn to drink water directly from a source; in this case, it is because the dogs require the water to be calm in order to drink.

So there is no need to worry when you see that, when drinking from a fountain, your dog coughs and / or chokes a little, since for animals this way of consuming water is quite complicated.

In this case, the most appropriate thing is that we fill a small bag with a little water from the source and then we place it on the ground so that our dog has the opportunity to drink properly, as if it were a small drinking fountain.

What to do if my dog ​​does not eat?

Help your dog drink by offering him milk

As we have already mentioned, the reasons why a dog loses its appetite can be quite diverse and generally, they are due to a physical reason; in any case, it is always essential that we take our dog to a vet in order to rule out any possible serious pathology and find out why you do not want to eat.

That a dog does not eat or drink, as long as it is something temporary, you should not worry too much. But if this state is maintained over time, the animal can endanger its health and that is why it is necessary to act quickly so that nothing happens to it.

In this sense, you should bear in mind that when a dog does not ingest liquids, as happens with people, its organs suffer from this lack and it can cause serious problems. Therefore, in addition to everything we have told you, we have thought of giving you some tips and remedies to encourage your dog to eat and / or drink.

Offer him something that he likes

We all know that a dog is "freaked out" by a certain food or drink. For instance, there are dogs who are crazy about sweets; others, the fruit, others the meat... Well, it is about offering that dog that right now does not want to eat or drink a delicacy that is difficult for him to resist.

Nor should you abuse, just offer him a little to see if, tempting him, he would eat, since many times being listless with food is just because he does not feel like what you offer him. Thus, this form can give you an indication of what can happen to it.

And what do we do with the drink? Yes, he most likely has water, and if he doesn't drink, we have a problem. But what if you offer him water in another container? Do you drink there? What if instead of water you offer him milk (which he can tolerate, of course)? Try giving him other fluids that are not harmful to him. Do you accept them? Sometimes the water they have to drink can get bad, and they notice it, so they stop drinking from there but on many occasions they can do it from other places.

Spend time with him

Sometimes dogs feel sad and lonely. And that affects their diet. However, if you spend time with them, if you even share moments when you eat or drink, your dog could also be interested in that food or drink and, with it, encourage him to do so.

Of course, make sure that what you eat is not harmful to them, especially if your pet has stomach problems. Always try to find food and drinks that you can offer to your dog so that he sees that he can eat the same as you.

Change the diet

Sometimes dogs don't eat simply because they don't find what you offer them appetizing. On the other hand, if you change the diet, things change. In this sense, many dogs do not tolerate feed well, especially "cheap" feed that has no flavor or that may not be recommended for them.

Instead, if you give it another type of feed, or food, things change. That is what you will have to try. In other words, we are talking about seeing if your dog eats anything else before the usual feed or food.

For example, imagine that you always give him I think and he does not eat it. Instead, if you make him a homemade dish he eats it, or wet food. If so, you may need to rethink the type of diet your dog follows so that it can feed.

And what about the water? Everything is more complicated here. Because normally dogs are given tap water, but what if they don't like it? You can try to change the water container (It could be that it gave him a smell and that is why he does not drink), or even offer him bottled water to see if he can tolerate it. In this sense, we speak of "trial and error" in order to rule out major problems that involve going to the vet.

Give yogurt

You are right, a natural yogurt can encourage your dog to eat. In fact, yogurt, as long as it does not contain additives, colorants ... it can be very beneficial (as it happens with people). And it is a stimulus to eat.

For one thing, it's squishy - you won't have to strain to chew it; and, on the other, it also carries some liquid. In fact, many vets are in favor of including it in their diets because it will make their intestines work so much better.


Yes, you read it right. But we qualify it for you. What we are looking for is to give your pet energy and make him feel good, even when you don't eat or drink. Why? Well, because it is a supplement that can help you eat, be more animated, and alleviate in some way the problem you have.

One tablespoon a day is enough. But always trying to get him to eat and drink normally. You can buy the Ceregumil from this link.

In case nothing works for you, it is better that you go to the vet for him to do the relevant tests in order to know what can happen to him and why this situation has occurred.

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  1.   AR Moya said

    This article is so lengthy and terribly inaccurate and lacking in relevant and useful information. Truly. Thanks for your time as well.